External fan ex2 ultra

Im about to purchase an ex2 ultra and wondering if anyone here is using an external fan to cool their ex2 ultra?

Plenty of people use external fans. (I personally have not)

ESPECIALLY relevant while the NAS goes throught the protracted and hideous indexing process. (It should not be needed for just occassional file access use)

Using a fan does not hurt the ex2 in any way?

No damage unless you have the fan on top of a block of dry ice, a bucket of LIN or hot coals.

(in otherwords. . .increasing room temperature air flow through the unit only does good things. Maybe over time it will bring more dust into the unit. . .but I wouldn’t sweat it)

Thank you! for the price of a fan, I will definitely be using one! I would actually be using the fan on top of the unit, so it would be pulling air through. I’m guessing that will be just as acceptable.

One more question for ya! Would it be ok to power an external USB fan using one of the USB ports on the ex2? Or would that put to much continuous stress on the ex2?

It shouldn’t. . . assuming it is a 0.5 amp (or less) fan. Would still use independent power (because I am conservative)

If I was to use an independent power source, such as a cell phone charging brick plugged into the wall, would that not be to much power output to the fan and shorten the life?

No, that fan only draws as much power as it needs. A bigger USB power adapter will not harm it and bigger is better than smaller.

I used to have USB fans running 24/7 and they work just fine, powered off from the back of the unit. I bought a couple of these before, they cost about 10 dollars apiece from where I live.


You can carefully split these into two fans, then cut the wires for one fan (a red and black) and keep it aside as a spare. If the main fan dies, you cut the wires, and connect the wires of the USB to the spare with no problems. The size is just enough to sit on the top of the case and the foam feet is enough to keep vibration noise to a minimum. The ones I got had a bright blue LED in each fan too. Some may find it useful to see if the NAS is powered or sleeping; I found it annoying enough to cut it out.

Performance wise, it works well. I live in the tropics, and I can easily go from 55 to 45 Celsius for the drives when it runs in a pull config, which is not too bad. It also uses 5 volts at 150 milliamps, so that’s just under a watt of power, about the same when the NAS goes into power down mode. The only cons for cheap fans like these is, you get no fan control, so it runs all the time, and these things will eventually wear out and make noises, sometimes after a week or a month, lol. Best time it kept going was over three months with a bit of oiling, but after awhile, I gave up and use it only when doing heavy transfers or indexing. NAS drives are usually rated to run hot, the recommended temps are up to 60C (factory wise, it should probably be slightly higher).

If you don’t have a USB fan, and you need something to cool the unit while doing heavy transfers, and you are good with the command line and have SSH access, try using the builtin WD “fan_control” tool. This controls the tiny fan in the bottom front of the unit, which pulls air in and onto the board in the center. The RPM supposedly goes from 4000 to 9000, but I’ve never set it beyond 5000. You can keep it running 24/7, but I don’t know if there are easy replacements to be found, so this is not advisable.

From the terminal, issue the “fan_control -h” command to get a list of valid options to use. fan_control -g 0 gives you the current temp, -g 3 gets the running state, and -f 1 sets it running at 4000rpm and -f 0 stops it. fan_control 0 c appears to set it back to the default auto mode, or you can simply reboot the unit. While not as efficient as a big good fan pulling air on top, it still works if you ever need to use it.

I use an external fan and got a little inventive with my EX2 Ultra 6TB RAIDD.

I’m using an Arctic F8 TC (Temperature Controlled) 3 pin case fan, you can get these for about 8-10 Euros Arctic F8 TC - its 12v 90mA so USB can’t be used. Purchased a cheap 12v 400mA mains adapter and spliced in the +12v/GND feed and cut off the 3rd wire tacho cable. Be careful with the polarities - if you get it the wrong way round you will blow the TC circuit (yes - I did!)

Whats good about this fan is it has a temperature sensor wire and integrated speed controller which lets the fan run at a constant low speed (350rpm) up to about 30 degrees then it ramps up to 2000 rpm (incredibly quietly) as the case reaches 38 degrees.

So - I raised the unit up on a couple of 12mm sq battens to give it some breathing space, placed the fan on the top of the case and poked the small sensor into the middle of the unit between the disks. Hey presto in about 10 mins the dashboard was reporting 37 degrees on one drive and 38 degrees on the other - magic - and you can hardly hear the fan at all.

It seems to work best blowing down not sucking up - but even on a hot antipodean day the drives are much more comfortable than the worrying 50-55 degrees I have been seeing and I am sure was a contributor to a failed 6TB Red RAIDD drive as reported by the dodgy SMART algorithm (but that is for another post).

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